Dorset is the latest setting for the talents of Inspector Ian Rutledge, a veteran of the First World War still haunted, literally, by his actions. Indeed, his personal ghost only serves to complicate things as his inner doubts blend into the trauma of the case. The disappearance of two children, the murder of a woman supposed to be their mother, and an unstable suspect who may or may not be guilty form the bones of Todd's latest psychological thriller, augmented by the in-depth and impressive character analysis that distinguishes his novels.
©2000 Charles Todd (P)1999 Recorded Books
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Ted on 28-01-13

Yeah, It's Dark, Scary, and Perfectly Plotted

Okay... I didn't guess who dunnit. Todd creates so many perfect suspects and so many red herrings. I love this schizzo inspector. It's very British here in its plotting but not so British as to exclude us from chewing along with Ian Rutledge on the clues swirling around like the tiny bugs in a mid-summer swarm. On occasion I sort of wish that Samuel Gillies's characters were just a tad more different to avoid a bit of confusion, but on the whole he's competent.

There's a dark anti-war shadow over this post WWI period when Britain stood between imperial greatness and modern-age coping. And Todd explores that cultural crack wonderfully in this series. So well, I've just downloaded another Ian Rutledge mystery.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Marie on 31-01-11

Tenacity wins the day!

Inspector Ian Rutledge is presented with a mystery that could result in an innocent man's death by hanging if he doesn't find out the true story. A casualty of WWI, the man thinks he spies his wife and children on a railway platform and sets about to find them. The woman turns up dead and all assume that he is the guilty party. But where are the children? Where is the other man that was with the woman? Rutledge sees a man haunted by his experience in WWI, much as Rutledge himself is. He'll set about to find the truth and, in doing so, unearths a more complicated mystery. His superiors throw roadblocks in his way, but Rutledge is tenacious at the least. What I love most about Rutledge is his tenacity. He never gives up, always going one more time to this witness, or one more time to that witness. He is a wonderful exercise in analysis. Of course, he has some help from his ghostly nemesis, Hamish, who at times harangues him to the point of near insanity and at other times provides him with the direction he needs. I missed Simon Prebble's narration in this installment. Samuel Gillies was quite good, and I would enjoy his narration again. But Prebble is the absolute best.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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